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Fifth Straight Win for Aggie Men’s Basketball

Released by Panhandle State Sports Information on 11/20/2017 Senior Tyler Pate had a good opening game for the Aggies, scoring 14 points against Manhattan Christian College.-Danae Moore photoSenior Tyler Pate had a good opening game for the Aggies, scoring 14 points against Manhattan Christian College.-Danae Moore photo

Goodwell, Okla.—The Aggie men's basketball team claimed their fifth victory of the season Saturday evening, with a win over Manhattan Christian College 87-66. The men's team now owns a 5-1 record, and are off to their best start since Head Coach Jerry Olson has been at the helm.

The Aggies dominated the first half taking a 49-33 lead at halftime. Panhandle State shot at 52.9 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes of play and hit on 7-16 three-point attempts and 6-7 shots from the line. After the break their shooting averages dropped significantly, to 38.2 percent from the field with the Aggies connecting on only one of 12 shots beyond the arc. The hefty first-half advantage kept the Aggies with a double-digit lead throughout the second half, however they only edged their opponents by five-points (38-33) in second-half scoring.

Junior Jace Kerr and sophomore Jaedon Whitfield remain reliable resources for the Aggies on both sides of the court. Kerr led the game in scoring with 26 points, averaging 69 percent in shooting and landing 6-6 free throw attempts. Whitfield notched his fifth double-double of the season on Saturday, taking down 21 rebounds and 16 points in the game. Whitfield currently leads the nation for NAIA Division I Basketball in defensive rebounds per game (14), total rebounds per game (16.8) and total rebounds (101). Kerr ranks third in the country for points per game (26.3) and sixth in total scoring with 158 points on the season.

Returning to the court for his first appearance this season was senior guard Tyler Pate. Pate put up 14 points for Panhandle and contributed with four boards and one steal in the game. Freshman DK Sumo kept up the pace with 11 points and four defensive rebounds, and offered a game-high of three assists. Dillon Landers led from the bench with nine points and four rebounds.

Leaders for the Thunder were Sterling Turner with 23 points and Antonio Anderson who had seven rebounds. The Thunder outscored the Aggies 14-6 on point off turnovers, but were outmatched 50-30 at the boards.

Coach Olson was pleased with the win and feels that his team shows signs of improvement at times, "There are still so many peaks and valleys in our game, but we're getting better." He added comments on some consistent forces stating, "Jace [Kerr] is steady every game and Jaedon [Whitfield] is an unbelievable rebounder. Sumo has been really good down the stretch at finding people and it was great to have Tyler [Pate] back."

The Aggie men will enjoy a break from play during Thanksgiving with time to prepare for their next contest following the holiday. The team will host Ecclesia College on Monday, Nov. 27 at 8 p.m. for their last non-conference matchup before entering SAC play on Nov. 30.